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Each week brings task lists, emails, documents, and new projects. Just how much of that is different from the job you’ve done? Odds are, maybe not much. Many of our day-to-day tasks are variations on something.
Do not reinvent the wheel every single time you start something new. Rather, use templates–as starting point standardized files with formatting and text. Once you save a separate variant of the template add, remove, or alter any data for that record that is unique, and you’ll have the job done in a fraction of this time.
Programs work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey programs, and email. Here’s how to use templates from your favorite apps–and how to automatically create documents from a template–so you can get your ordinary tasks done faster.
Programs take the time to build, and it’s easy to wonder whether they are worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes far less time than formatting some thing. It is the distinction between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That’s only one benefit: Using a template means you are not as inclined to leave out crucial information, too. For instance, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor arrangement, modifying a standard contract template (instead of composing a new contract every time) ensures you won’t leave out the crucial clause regarding owning the material as soon as you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send regular job updates to investors or customers. Using a template, you understand the update will constantly have the same formatting, design, and structure.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and some things don’t need a template. Here are a few tips to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. It is easier to delete info than add it in, so err on the side of including instead of too small.
Imagine you’re creating a template of your resume. You would want to list in-depth details so you are going to have.
You always have the option to delete less-important notes later on, but you may forget it in the last 25, when it’s not in the template.
Some applications will automatically fill in all these variables for you (more on that in a bit). But should you need to fill in the information on your own, add some text that’s easy and obvious to look for so it is possible to locate text that needs to be altered without a lot of work.